Class Project
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"Tucson Hip-hop Don't Stop"

Class Project

Communication senior Jay Whiting, a.k.a. J. Foxx, and creative writing senior Noah Pollock, a.k.a. Knomad, are as different as they are alike. This contrast was made clear after hearing them perform in their hip-hop duo, Class Project, Friday night at the Kappa Alpha Theta "Rock the Casa" benefit concert.

Class Project's performance exemplified their conversational style of lyrics that flows back and forth between each other, a style of rapping that shows off their talent. It is symbolic of the love and respect that Whiting and Pollock have for one another.

Pollock is the more introspective, fast-paced rapper that can flow a mile a minute, whereas the equally talented Whiting is more the entertainer of the show. Whiting, the shmoozer of the two,charmed the crowd of bopping sorority girls with his charisma and smile, all while calling attention to his T-shirt that read "I Got It," which happened to be the name of one of the tracks the two performed.

Class Project's embryo, so to speak, was formed when the two were living in the dorms, where they started free-styling with one another and even doing a little recording.

It wasn't until last summer that Pollock and Whiting got their break. They were booked to open up for the New York-based hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes, who were playing at Centennial Hall.

"(We) jumped from standing on the floor of a bar to being in front of like 2,500 people," Pollock said. "Since then we have just been playing pretty much (every) show we can get."

What makes them different from other hip-hop duos or any other band is that their music is created not by what they have in common, but what sets the two apart.

Pollock, born and raised in Tucson, grew up listening to the sounds of the East Coast that were highly regarded at the time, including Nas and Biggie. Then, as with most maturing people with an ear for music, he moved on and became more interested in underground sounds like Living Legends, Atmosphere and Hieroglyphics.

However, Pollock's background in music is not confined to rap; he grew up listening to a lot of Broadway scores, and he tap-danced as well.

"A lot of his rapping, I can tell from an outsider's point of view, is influenced by tap dancing, like with the time and beat," Whiting said. "This fool raps crazy, like real fast. You look at it on a piece of paper and you still don't understand because of how fast he is going."

Whiting, on the other hand, grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, listening to rappers popular on his own turf, like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. As he got older, he too got into more underground rappers including Rakim and Cali Agents, a hip-group from the San Francisco Bay Area, not, however, affiliated with the Bay's hyphy movement.

"Fucking hyphy," Pollock said with disgust in his voice.

Both Pollock and Whiting's distaste, however, for the hip-hop style that is emerging out of Northern California has nothing to do with the region itself, but the type of sound that artists like Keat Da Sneak are putting out, as well as many other current hip hop artists who are being played at clubs.

"When the focus becomes entirely on the noise that's being made and not on what is being said, it just goes against the roots of rap music," Pollock said. "A beat and words are not independent of each other. You can still shake your ass to something that has thought and content behind it, but apparently those things have become completely mutually exclusive, which is very, very disheartening to me."

"I enjoy it personally, when I'm dancing," Whiting said. "But when I'm -, whether it be smoking, drinking or just chilling and relaxing - I want something that's saying something. So I think there's a time and place for it, I just think it has gotten a little out of hand."

The tracks that Class Project performed Friday, which can be heard on their two EPs Rough Draft and Pure Edit, consist of those two elements, a danceable beat and profound prose.

For instance, the two opened with the catchy yet conceptually interesting song "When Egos Collide," which explains the two's competitive nature in regards to making music.

"He and I are both pretty self-confident people, bordering on arrogance," Pollock said. "The fact is when we're sitting in a room together and writing together and saying our lines aloud, we're trying to impress one another, and I have an immense amount of respect for Jay's taste in music, and I think he would probably feel about the same way."

"Definitely, definitely," Whiting said. - The Daily Wildcat, Tucson, AZ


"Tucson Hip-hop Don't Stop"

Class Project

Communication senior Jay Whiting, a.k.a. J. Foxx, and creative writing senior Noah Pollock, a.k.a. Knomad, are as different as they are alike. This contrast was made clear after hearing them perform in their hip-hop duo, Class Project, Friday night at the Kappa Alpha Theta "Rock the Casa" benefit concert.

Class Project's performance exemplified their conversational style of lyrics that flows back and forth between each other, a style of rapping that shows off their talent. It is symbolic of the love and respect that Whiting and Pollock have for one another.

Pollock is the more introspective, fast-paced rapper that can flow a mile a minute, whereas the equally talented Whiting is more the entertainer of the show. Whiting, the shmoozer of the two,charmed the crowd of bopping sorority girls with his charisma and smile, all while calling attention to his T-shirt that read "I Got It," which happened to be the name of one of the tracks the two performed.

Class Project's embryo, so to speak, was formed when the two were living in the dorms, where they started free-styling with one another and even doing a little recording.

It wasn't until last summer that Pollock and Whiting got their break. They were booked to open up for the New York-based hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes, who were playing at Centennial Hall.

"(We) jumped from standing on the floor of a bar to being in front of like 2,500 people," Pollock said. "Since then we have just been playing pretty much (every) show we can get."

What makes them different from other hip-hop duos or any other band is that their music is created not by what they have in common, but what sets the two apart.

Pollock, born and raised in Tucson, grew up listening to the sounds of the East Coast that were highly regarded at the time, including Nas and Biggie. Then, as with most maturing people with an ear for music, he moved on and became more interested in underground sounds like Living Legends, Atmosphere and Hieroglyphics.

However, Pollock's background in music is not confined to rap; he grew up listening to a lot of Broadway scores, and he tap-danced as well.

"A lot of his rapping, I can tell from an outsider's point of view, is influenced by tap dancing, like with the time and beat," Whiting said. "This fool raps crazy, like real fast. You look at it on a piece of paper and you still don't understand because of how fast he is going."

Whiting, on the other hand, grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, listening to rappers popular on his own turf, like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. As he got older, he too got into more underground rappers including Rakim and Cali Agents, a hip-group from the San Francisco Bay Area, not, however, affiliated with the Bay's hyphy movement.

"Fucking hyphy," Pollock said with disgust in his voice.

Both Pollock and Whiting's distaste, however, for the hip-hop style that is emerging out of Northern California has nothing to do with the region itself, but the type of sound that artists like Keat Da Sneak are putting out, as well as many other current hip hop artists who are being played at clubs.

"When the focus becomes entirely on the noise that's being made and not on what is being said, it just goes against the roots of rap music," Pollock said. "A beat and words are not independent of each other. You can still shake your ass to something that has thought and content behind it, but apparently those things have become completely mutually exclusive, which is very, very disheartening to me."

"I enjoy it personally, when I'm dancing," Whiting said. "But when I'm -, whether it be smoking, drinking or just chilling and relaxing - I want something that's saying something. So I think there's a time and place for it, I just think it has gotten a little out of hand."

The tracks that Class Project performed Friday, which can be heard on their two EPs Rough Draft and Pure Edit, consist of those two elements, a danceable beat and profound prose.

For instance, the two opened with the catchy yet conceptually interesting song "When Egos Collide," which explains the two's competitive nature in regards to making music.

"He and I are both pretty self-confident people, bordering on arrogance," Pollock said. "The fact is when we're sitting in a room together and writing together and saying our lines aloud, we're trying to impress one another, and I have an immense amount of respect for Jay's taste in music, and I think he would probably feel about the same way."

"Definitely, definitely," Whiting said. - The Daily Wildcat, Tucson, AZ


Discography

The Rough Draft EP (2006)

Rough Draft LP (2007)

Photos

Bio

Jay and Noah met in the dorms at the University of Arizona their freshman year of college. Their name started as a code for making music, as they would tell friends and classmates that they were working on a "Class Project," to avoid questions about the type of music they made. They mainly freestyled and recorded music for the first four years, but once Noah returned from a study abroad trip to Argentina, the two decided to start doing some shows and produce a CD. The two have been doing shows since the decision was made in the later part of August 2006. Class Project has most notably opened for Gym Class Heroes and LD & Ariano (Technicali).